The Gustavus men’s basketball team suffered its third consecutive heartbreaking overtime loss falling to St. Thomas 68-64 in St. Paul on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties led the entire second half, but two clutch three-point baskets by Tommie senior Tyler Nicolai, the second with 3.6 seconds left in regulation play forced the extra session. In the overtime another key three-point basket, this one by Alex Healy with 34 seconds left gave the Tommies a five-point lead (67-62) that the Gusties would not be able to overcome. Tyler Grey led Gustavus in scoring with 11 points.
St. Thomas jumped out to an early seven point lead at 10-3, but countered with a 9-2 run that tied the score at 12-12 midway through the first half. A Tyler Grey jumper with 52 seconds left gave Gustavus a two-point 28-26 lead at the intermission. Grey sparked the Gusties in the opening 20 minutes scoring nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field including 1-of-2 from behind the arc.
In the second half, Gustavus slowly built its lead to nine points at 41-32 at the 15:15 mark. A three-point basket by Dan Schmidtknecht at the 9:14 mark pushed the Gustavus lead back to nine points at 51-42, however the Tommies would battle back and outscore the Gusties 18-9 the rest of the game to tie the score at 60-60 at the end of regulation play. Two free throws by Bobby Johnson at the 1:03 mark gave Gustavus a 58-54 lead, but Nicolai would knock down a three-point basket with 44 seconds left to cut the lead to 58-57. Schmidtknecht pushed the lead back to three at 60-57 as he made two free throws with 18 seconds left. Nicolai drained his second dramatic three-point basket in as many games as he tied the score at 60-60 with a fall-away 26 foot trey with 3.6 seconds left in regulation play.
In the overtime, the score was tied at 61-61 when Tommy Hannon converted a traditional three-basket with a bucket and a free throw giving the Tommies a 64-61 lead at the 1:52 mark. A three-point basket by Healy with 18 seconds left pushed the lead to five for St. Thomas at 67-62. Seth Anderson made a basket as time expired for Gustavus making the final score 68-64.